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April 22nd, 2010

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02:55 pm
Last weekend komos and faux_eonix hosted the latest in their series of Somerville/cambridge Iron Chef competitions.
This was Battle Egg.

I was picked to be a chef for it, and had grand plans of doing a dessert play on eggs by blowing caramel balloons and filling them with white chocolate, or something like that. I ended up not having any free time to test it until a day before the competition so I scrapped that as too ambitious a plan. Instead I took a passing comment about making a hash and ran with it.

What I did:
I braised a pork shoulder overnight in a slow-cooker with veggie stock, red pepper, Coconut amino acids (similar to Braggs, or a light soy sauce), some white wine, sage, and maybe a few other things that I don't remember. put it on high and let it crank overnight.
In the morning I pulled the pork out, shredded it, and put the braising liquid in a pot on the stove to reduce it. (Seasoned it, added a bit of sugar, white wine, vinegar, reduced nearly to a syrup.)
I took the shredded pork and threw it into a giant cast-iron skillet with some onions and boiled potatoes, cooked it until I could consider it a hash-like substance.

Next I made some crepe-thin omelets (one egg, a splash of water, whisk and pour into a liberally buttered 10-12" non-stick skillet, flip once) and cut them into strips to make "egg noodles." (HAH!)
Threw some chives into a mortar and pestle and mushed them up with lime juice and salt to make a green paste.
Made some over-easy eggs, making sure they had nice runny yolks.

Put a nest of egg noodles in the bottom of a small bowl.
Put a hamburger-sized serving of hash on top of that.
Put an egg on top of that.
Put the reduction sauce on one side of the egg, the chive paste on the other side, garnish the plate with cut chives.

Break the egg and let the yolk seep down into the hash and noodles, basically making a sauce for the dish.

And hey, guess what?
I won!
Pretty cool! I'm the first two-time winner of Iron Chef Camberville. *flexes*
I need to work on my hash though, it was the weak point of the dish.

The other chefs:
bbbsg made an amazing coddled quail egg with a baby morel, a fiddlehead, and some tarragon/walnut pesto. It was a single, perfect bite. The one I had was perfect, but the judges seemed to have some issue with it. I think because it was so small it was hard to nail the proportions of all the elements which caused some to be over pestoed and others to miss flavor elements. I liked the one I got quite a bit. ^_^

wanderyng1 made a really nice raw tuna salad thing with salmon roe (eggs! brilliant!), sprouts, and an egg-yolk based sauce with ponzu and blackberries. It was muey bueno, but he too got points deducted for ratios of elements on the plate.

bushidokelt made some really awesome french toast in the shape of the continental USA, aka. American Toast. It was nicely browned on the outside and custardy on the inside, but he could only do two pieces on the stove at once so two judges got served plates that had to sit for about 10 minutes while he cooked the other two.

Ultimately fun was had by all, and the final scoring was one of the closer groupings we've ever had.
Sadly no one brought a camera for the first time ever, so there are no photos of the event! I gotta remember to drag mine over even if I'm cooking.
mood: accomplishedaccomplished

(12 bits of drivel | babble incoherently)


[User Picture]
Date:April 22nd, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
sounds tasty! but I'm sad that there are no photos.
[User Picture]
Date:April 22nd, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC)
Pete is bushidokelt, and I have been terribly remiss about posting results. Congrats. It was a tough field and well fought.

We do have a camera, but didn't think to pull it out. :\

[User Picture]
Date:April 22nd, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC)
I think everyone in the house had a camera in their pocket on their phone, but none of us thought of it at the time. ;-)
[User Picture]
Date:April 22nd, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
How does one host an Iron Chef competition. It sounds incredibly fun, and I'd like to try it with my friends, but my kitchen isn't big at all...
[User Picture]
Date:April 22nd, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC)
It's actually surprisingly easy, you just make sure people do most of their prep ahead of time. There's no one-hour time limit thing, but you have to be able to heat and plate your dish in the 20-30 minutes or so that it takes the judges to eat the previous challenger's dish.

One dish per chef, prep ahead of time, 20 mins or so to heat and sautee, etc., plate it and serve it.

It's good fun, just make sure people don't take it too seriously as it can end up with hurt feelings. We learned that early on. ;-)
[User Picture]
Date:April 23rd, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
Hm. My friends are pretty competitive. There was a tackle during the scavenger hunt at a bday party (ok, that was my doing, but it was totally justified) and outsiders view our game of charades as unnecessarily difficult...

Otherwise this sounds like a lot of fun!
[User Picture]
Date:April 23rd, 2010 12:18 am (UTC)
Base rules are here. Use either IC or IC:A scoring.

As for other considerations, I'd recommend no more than 4-5 contestants and try to stress small plate portions. If everyone shows up with a meal on a plate, your judges will be miserable by the end of the meal. Also? I've found that it's useful to be an extra pair of hands where needed rather than just taking a seat at the table. It gives you the opportunity to keep the kitchen on schedule and opens up a seat for another judge.

Although it's nominally a competition, it's ultimately an excuse for friends to cook for one another. Encourage folks to bring a little extra for spectators, and have lots of tasty bits to supplement. Above all, have fun.
[User Picture]
Date:April 23rd, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the link. I'll definitely try to get this going with a small group for a trial run if nothing else!
[User Picture]
Date:April 22nd, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
Why does the battle egg sound so familiar?

I'm currently poring over my disorganized e-mail looking for where somebody may have invited me to this. Weird. Maybe I'm imagining it.
[User Picture]
Date:April 23rd, 2010 12:15 am (UTC)
I want to eat all of those things. I also want to be a judge, a chef, and an audience member.

Okay, who am I kidding, I just want to eat all of those things!
[User Picture]
Date:April 23rd, 2010 12:18 am (UTC)
It's not outside of the realm of possibility.
[User Picture]
Date:April 23rd, 2010 03:27 am (UTC)
Congrats! Your dessert egg idea aounds delicious, too...
Last weekend komos and faux_eonix hosted the latest in… - another LJ. or: how i learned to stop worrying and love this life-thingy — LiveJournal

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